James Strong Interview

A new interview with James Strong, the director of Planet of the Dead, has appeared online today. The interview was published on Den of Geeks official website, and in the interview James talks about filming in Doctor Who in Dubai, whats its like directing, and much more. An extract from the interview can be seen below;

Is post-production still going on with 'Planet Of The Dead' or is it pretty much ready?

Oh blimey - no no no! [laughs] Going on and going on...and it will be going on right up until transmission. These are the tightest deadlines we've ever had, so it's requiring an enormous effort from everybody, really, since we finished shooting, to really push it through. Obviously it has to be to the same standards as normal, and more. It's a bigger episode than we've ever done before, and yet the deadlines are tighter than we've ever had before. But I'm sure we'll get there.

How has shooting in high-definition changed the pipeline of getting an episode out?

Well, I think part of the consideration in moving to HD was the number of CGI shots in Doctor Who. The cost of moving to HD was slightly prohibitive. But as things have progressed and more and more stuff is on HD, in the end it got to be that we were the only show not on HD. The equipment and the software that was being used was all HD, and we weren't. In the end [the fact that HD was prevalent] made it easier for us to work with it, from the point of view of effects and stuff.

Do you think you would have got a Dubai location shoot if Doctor Who wasn't having a truncated season this year?

Well, they went to Pompeii last year. I think if the script had been a normal episode rather than a special - not that there's ever a normal episode...this story demanded a proper desert, so I don't think it could ever have been achieved otherwise. It's a scary thing to think how we would have done it on Camber Sands or a beach in West Wales.

On set, was there a sense of valediction beginning for David Tennant's Doctor, or is that still very much in the future?

We don't really deal in this episode in anything that's to come, or that might happen to the Doctor regarding David's exit from the character. What's lovely about it for me is that it's the last of the standalone, pure Doctor Who adventures. After this episode I think it's going to get darker and into the story that will see the regeneration to the next Doctor. This one doesn't deal with anything at all that's come before or after.

You can read the full interview on Den of Geeks official website here. Doctor Who Planet of the Dead will gets its debut on television this Saturday, the 11th of April, at 6.45pm on BBC One and BBC HD.